Consumers’ eating habits have greatly evolved over the years. With the advancement in food science, the availability of information, and an industry that is quick to evolve with dynamic tastes and dietary needs, our local grocer’s aisle is now rife with options to suit all kinds of people — with snack items growing exponentially in recent years in terms of variety and specific scope of customer base.
Milk alternatives have been booming as an example, with coconut milk extending its influence in recent years. But it’s not until recently that coconut milk-based yogurt has stepped into the milk group chat. So Delicious Dairy Free is a brand that’s sauntered up to the plate, ready to knock it out the park with their So Delicious Pairings Coconutmilk Yogurt Alternative that’s not only dairy-free, but also nut-free, soy-free, Certified Gluten-Free, Certified Vegan and Non-GMO Project Verified.
So Delicious Pairings comes ready with a roster of different flavors that are ready to satisfy palates of all types: Coco Almond Crunch, Spice Blueberry, Salted Caramel Cluster, and Key Lime Pie.
If you’re ready for the plunge into coconut milk yogurt, So Delicious Pairings are now available at grocery stores nationwide and retail for a suggested price of $2.29 per 5.3 oz. cup.
We’re pretty sure you know all of the following items are not good for you. But we all need a reminder every now and again that we should remove or at least eat less unhealthy food. If you’re willing to go on a healthier journey with us, read on.
I know that it can be quite tough to keep to a healthier lifestyle, especially since life always seems to get in the way of that. With deadlines and disturbances in our schedules, kids just being kids or just too much stress, one of the first things to go out the window is healthy eating. But just because you sometimes sin, it doesn’t mean that you can’t course correct. And there is one simple thing you can always do to get your good habits back on track: removing unhealthy food from your diet.
We’ve already talked about those food groups that you should definitely let die on the supermarket shelves. But right now, let’s see which are the particular items to let go off. Of course, they might be already a part of your routine. But routines can change, can’t they?
All of the following have a way of making the rates of heart disease and diabetes rise, so whatever you gain in time or pleasure by eating them, would probably be undone very quickly once you get to the doctor. And they might ruin your skin, too.
10 unhealthy food items you should stop eating
1. Potato chips
Also known as crisps in the UK, potato chips have a lot speaking against them. Like the fact that they’re loaded with salt, bad fats, and calories. It’s no surprise there – they have been deep-fried after all, and are probably dripping with trans fats (the absolute worst!).
2. Fat-free dairy
Marketing fooled us all into thinking that less fat in dairy products is better. But that’s not so. In order to make the low-fat or 0 percent fat products more palatable, they are often loaded with sugar or additives. Also, fat in dairy is not as evil as we all had thought until now.
3. Ice cream
I know, I don’t want to believe it either. But unfortunately, ice cream is usually a calorie bomb ready to explode in your arteries. Of course, as hot as this summer has been, I can’t urge you to give up on the frozen treat completely. But maybe have a bit less? Or learn how to make it yourself. And sometimes swap it out for vegan popsicles or frozen yogurt, ok?
In my house, when I was a kid, we used margarine a lot instead of butter, because butter was supposedly fatter. But oh boy, were we wrong here! Margarine is so much worse. It’s made with hydrogenated vegetable oils and it’s rich in trans fats. It’s also been connected to higher risk of heart disease and cancer.
5. French fries
This one really hurts for me, because it’s one of my comfort foods. I love the saltiness and the crunchiness of a well-made batch. But unfortunately for all of us fry-lovers, French fries are an unhealthy food. On serving has somewhere between 200 to 340 calories and so much sodium! Not to mention that they’re practically doused in unhealthy oils!
Do I even have to explain why soda is bad for you? I will, anyway. But we all more or less know by now that soda is mostly just sugar, and sugar is evil. Soda drinks can increase the risk of having cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and osteoporosis. So put that can down and step away from the soda refrigerator in the supermarket.
7. White bread
Even if you don’t have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you still should lay off the white bread.First of all, it has no nutritional value, because the grain is stripped of all of its nutrients. But it also makes your blood sugar levels spike up, and too much of it can lead to plenty of health issues. So try to switch it out with whole grains as much as possible.
8. Microwave popcorn
Think about opening that bag of popped kernels and what do you first feel or see? That’s right, the oiliness and saltiness. There is way too much bad fat in a bag like that. Plus, there are plenty of toxic chemicals in each and every bag! Instead, maybe try to make some air-popped corn?
9. Processed meat
Deli meats, any type of salami, hot dogs and other processed meats are actually bad news for your health. Yeah, I know they’re tasty, but at what cost? A number of studies have found links between these and colorectal cancer, to name just one. And that’s because they’re full of carcinogens, synthetic chemicals, and toxic preservatives.
10. Energy drinks
What? You were not expecting that a drink which gives you insane amounts of energy is bad for you? Well, these drinks are loaded with glucose, sucrose, and caffeine, which are really really unhealthy.
If you crave for a sweet drink, try a smoothie instead:
Do you want to significantly lower the chances of having bowel cancer? Science has good news for you: you should have three fish servings every week, according to major new research.
The research was published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). It had almost half a million subjects. According to the data collected by the team, regularly eating fish, about three servings per week, lowers the risk of bowel cancer by 12%.
Eating oily fish like herring, mackerel, and salmon already had a positive reputation, health-wise. These fish protect heart health, but also protect your brain from degenerative conditions. This is all thanks to the anti-inflammation properties of omega-3 fatty acids found in them.
A few fish servings per week have a great impact
The new research is the first one conducted on a large scale that makes a connection between eating fish and having a lower risk of bowel cancer. Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer followed over 476,160 people hailing from all over Europe, during a time frame of 15 years.
But what kind of fish servings? It doesn’t matter that much. According to the study, both lean and fatty fish hit the sweet spot when it comes to lowering the risk of bowel cancer. But the same thing cannot be said for shellfish, FYI.
“This large study adds to the scientific evidence suggesting that consuming fish could reduce the risk of bowel cancer. The biological reasons by which fish consumption potentially lowers risk are not fully understood but one of the theories include specific fatty acids such as omega-3, found almost exclusively in fish, being responsible for this protective effect via their anti-inflammatory properties,” said Dr. Anna Diaz Font, Head of Research Funding at the World Cancer Research Fund, which funded the research.
A recent meta-analysis of multiple scientific studies has discovered that healthy plant-based diets can lower the risk of type-2 diabetes by over 23%, a significant figure.
The paper was published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine and was conducted by a team of researchers from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health located in Boston, Massachusetts. It started from the kernel of the idea that one of the main risk factors for type-2 diabetes (the most common type) is the diet. And this health issue can be avoided, especially if people change their dietary patterns and habits.
More than 100 million adults in the United States have diabetes or prediabetes — the set of conditions that precede the development of type 2 diabetes, according to data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A whole host of studies published over the past few years suggest that predominantly plant-based diets can reduce the risk of diabetes. The meta-analysis from the Harvard team concerned nine of these papers. They all looked at the possible link between dietary patterns and the risk of type-2 diabetes. If we look at the overall numbers of these studies brought together, we can see that there were 307,000 participants. Of these, over 23,000 suffered from type-2 diabetes.
“Plant-based dietary patterns are gaining popularity in recent years, so we thought it was crucial to quantify their overall association with diabetes risk, particularly since these diets can vary substantially in terms of their food composition,” notes Frank Qian, the first author of the review.
Why plant-based diets?
Plant-based diets can have an astonishing variety and therefore can be hard to define. The study authors emphasized that they were talking about predominantly plant-based diets. And these are built upon consuming fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and grains. These diets can also have small quantities of meat but also unhealthier items like potatoes and sugar.
The researchers discovered that those who adhered more strictly to plant-based diets would benefit from the lower risk of type-2 diabetes, as opposed to the participants who were laxer in their approach.
This type of diet helps the body because plant-based diets are better at regulating insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. And the same foods can help avoid weight gain and can reduce inflammation.
Not all beans are created equally. Some thrive when cooked in a certain way, others might just go the opposite route. But we’re telling you right now how and what to cook with different types of beans.
We’ve talked before about ‘The Beaning of life’ and there have been many bean meals and many bad food-related puns in my life ever since then. But I’m back with a vengeance! Or no, more like I’m back with just some extra information on what you can cook with these beauties. As many types of them as possible.
Like I’ve said before, beans are very nourishing and loaded with nutrients as part of the larger family known as ‘pulses’, along with peas and lentils. They’re so good and actually a sustainable food source, that the world’s leading food experts have dubbed as a way to ‘solve world hunger’. This is actually one of those very urgent issues that plague the planet, so we’re glad to see there are solutions after all.
You have nothing to fear if you’re cooking different types of beans, they will keep you satiated for longer and they can be prepared in so many ways that you have almost infinite options, no matter where you are in the world.
Ways of cooking different types of beans
1. A bean salad
If you’re a fan of beans, then why not just combine them all into a delicious and tasty dish that blends all of their respective flavors and textures? A big old heap of different types of beans sounds like heaven to me. Add some additional flavor as well, like garlic, fresh herbs, and then enjoy the magic!
2. Soup with Great Northern beans
Because Great Northern beans have a lighter density and a nuttier flavor, they’re perfect to make soups and purées. So, rinse them first, add them to a saucepan, cover with water, sprinkle some salt and bring to a boil. After the water boils, add the lid and simmer for about an hour to let them get even more tender. Then make a delicious hearty soup with them and enjoy!
3. Black beans and combos
Thanks to their creamy texture and mild taste, black beans go excellent with some corn or rice. You can also cook them gently and then make a salad with avocado or add some lovely chorizo to the proceedings. The spiciness of the chorizo will make the black beans stand out.
4. Fava beans – make a salad
Peel them thoroughly – that’s the annoying thing about this delicious type of beans. After that, you can add them with ease to a fresh salad, where they will shine next to leafy greens and some juicy tomato. Or another option for fava beans is to cook them next to some asparagus. The flavors will complement each other.
5. Cannelinni beans work with fish
Add them to vegetable soups, including minestrone, they go well with tuna meat, red onion, and parmesan cheese, so you can make a salad with them. During the winter, turn them into a casserole by stewing them in tomato juice.
6. Black-eyed peas can be fried
In Egypt, they’re cooked with onions, garlic, meat, and tomato juice and served with Egyptian rice. In West Africa and the Caribbean, they are the basis for a traditional dish called akara, made with mashed black-eyed peas with salt, onions, and peppers. The mixture is then fried.
7. Kidney beans are chilling
And by chilling, I mean to say that you should most definitely add them to a nice chili. They bring excellent texture to your fully-realized dish. Other than that, you can add make some curry, add them to tacos, rice, or you can mash them to make a deliciously smooth dip.
What is the key to a perfect salad? Maybe there are multiple keys, all singing in unison. Like the balance between ingredients, the degree of satisfaction after you eat it, and don’t crave a snack after half an hour, and the dressing that works perfectly with it.
I for one, like to treat a simple salad as seriously as I would any dish. I think about the ingredients, add them one by one and taste, trying to figure out, in my gut, what is missing. I love making large quantities even and chop all of the ingredients mindfully, slowly. It’s almost like a Zen ritual for me. And I can always taste it in the results.
5 tips and tricks for the perfect salad
1. Choose the best ingredients
No matter what greens you choose for your salad, make sure that they’re freshly cut and in their prime. Which also means picking things that are in season when you’re making the perfect salad. There are so many things you can choose from: lettuce, arugula, spinach, endives, and many more.
There are even four main types of lettuce, iceberg, butterhead, leaf, and romaine, each with their own texture and taste. It’s important to understand how each of them works. Iceberg is crisper, but not as flavorful as others. Butterhead has soft, supple leaves. Be careful with those, they bruise easily. Green leaf, red leaf, and oak leaf need to be eaten immediately because they have a very small freshness window until they wilt. Romaine has slightly bitter leaves and is a little bit crunchy when eaten. Remember that the center leaves are sweeter and tastier.
After you’ve chosen the leaves, pair them with other healthy ingredients. Here are plenty of salad ideas for you.
2. Don’t complicate things
You don’t want to mix things up too much! The whole idea of a salad is finding a balance in texture, color (because we tend to eat with our eyes, too, isn’t it?), and flavor. I call it the ‘perfect bite’ test. This means that you should be able to grab a small piece of every ingredient with the fork and taste the whole salad in one bite.
So don’t complicate things or you won’t be able to have the full salad experience in every bite. Choose the leaves, make your own dressing, and then have one, two at most extra ingredients. Like chives, herbs, maybe radishes or crushed nuts. I love dill if I’m being honest. The main idea of a salad is to be able to feel its flavor.
3. Clean thoroughly
Once you’ve bought your greens from the market, you need to take some steps to preserve them for as long as possible. First of all, if you clean the leafy greens when you get home and dry them off, you ensure that they get a bit of their ‘life’ back after the ride. Clean them in cold water and then pat them down with paper or kitchen towels.
4. Make your own dressing
In my humble opinion, there is no comparison between a homemade dressing and a store-bought one. The latter would lose any time. So what’s the key to a good dressing? Using the right proportions. You need about three parts oil and one part acid, and the combinations from here are endless. Don’t forget to use some seasoning and some herbs, to give everything an extra dimension.
Now, you’ll need about 3-4 tablespoons of dressing for every four cups of cleaned greens. You don’t want the salad to be too greasy and the veggies to swim in it. On the other hand, you also don’t want the dressing not to touch on all of the salad. Right?
5. Toss gently
Forget about kitchen instruments. Just do everything with your hands, because they will be gentler than any fork or spoon you can think of. Place the greens in the largest bowl you have, and stick both of your clean hands in it, with fingers stretched apart. Then get into the flow and try to reach the whole surface of the bowl. Go to the bottom and then bring the hands to the top, along with the veggies there.
Do this first to mix the ingredients, and then add the dressing and continue with the same movement. Repeat until the dressing is spread out evenly.
And then serve! Because once you’ve added the dressing, you’ve started the clock on the freshness of your perfect salad! The dish is best eaten right after you’ve finished making it.
It was the most hated vegetable in America, according to a 2008 Heinz study. But this cruciferous veggie deserves your love and attention thanks to its numerous health benefits and untapped kitchen potential. So give it a chance and cook with Brussels sprouts. ASAP!
They have more vitamin C than oranges, per serving. They’re rich in vitamin K, which does wonders for your blood. And yet… People seem to hate it and it appears it would have something to do with that awful smell that is sometimes emanated when cooking the tiny bulbs of health and nutrients. But despite that, it’s time to learn to cook with Brussels sprouts! No excuses.
More healthy reasons to cook with Brussels sprouts
1. They boost fertility
Or so they say. Legend says that our favorite royals, William and Kate, both ate Brussels sprouts while trying to conceive. And now they’re on their third pregnancy! The cruciferous veggies are indeed very rich in folic acid and something called DIM, which helps metabolize estrogen. This actually helps both men and women in their reproductive functions. And Brussels sprouts don’t only help with conception, but also with the carrying to term of the pregnancy, all the while reducing the appearance of birth defects and reducing the risk of miscarriage.
2. More vitamin C than citrus!
Shocking, isn’t it? But the fact is that an ounce of cooked Brussels sprouts accounts for 29 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. And the figure is even higher when the veggie is raw. But the same quantity in an orange accounts for 25 percent of the recommended daily value. Vitamin C keeps your skin and blood vessels healthy. And it helps your body absorb iron from foods. So here’s an idea for you: combine your Brussels sprouts with foods rich in iron like spinach, mussels or oysters, tofu, or beans.
You should also mix Brussels sprouts with foods that contain vitamin E because it works in synergy with vitamin C. So try adding something like nuts and seeds, avocado, paprika powder or fatty fish to your Brussels sprouts.
3. Fighting cancer every step of the way
Move over broccoli as a cancer-fighting superhero! According to a study published in the journal Acta Horticulturae in 2010, Brussels sprouts, the dreaded sister of broccoli has an even higher content of glucosinolates, that compound which is known to be fighting certain types of cancer and preventing them, of course.
A very brief history of the smelly veggie you hate but should try to love
Or at least tolerate! Ever wondered why Brussels sprouts carry the name of a Belgian city? Well, because the varieties you can eat now were first cultivated in Belgium. But the veggie has been around in other forms for over 2.500 years when they were apparently consumed by Greeks and Romans. Now wasn’t that indeed brief?
But still, why are Brussels sprouts so foul-smelling?
Well, there are two reasons. One of them is chemical, and the other is procedural. Brussels sprouts emanate that smell when cooked because they’re rich in sulfur and they can end up stinking like rotten eggs. But the other reason is: you’re cooking them wrong! The idea here is that Brussels sprouts will only smell horrible when they’re overcooked. And the solution is simple: make sure you don’t.
If you want to do that, then try blanching them. The technique is not very complicated and it doesn’t take up much time. Your goal is to end up with light green Brussels sprouts, tender when pierced with a fork. If you end up with grey veggies that smell, you’re past the point of no return.
Prepping to cook with Brussels sprouts
You can buy them either fresh – and get them as fresh as possible – or you can buy them frozen but it’s harder to control the cooking process so that they don’t overcook. Pick the green buds with no yellow leaves. You can also get some with a bit of purple hue. The leaves should be tight with white bases. You can buy them individually or on a stalk, they’re even fresher in the latter form. Use them very soon after you buy them.
Once home, rinse them in cool water, cut a small portion of the base with a knife and remove a few outer leaves, especially if they’re torn.
How to cook with Brussels sprouts, though?
First of all, you can actually eat them raw. Remember that they have even more vitamin C when raw? Well, you can slice them thinly and add them to a green leafy salad with green onion and spinach. Or you can use them in a coleslaw.
Now let’s talk actual cooking with heat. You can make a really nice baking sheet with veggies including Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and eggplant. Drizzle some olive oil, seasoning, and some spices and you’re good to go.
Other than blanching, you can also steam them and pan-fry them, but all the while keeping an eye on them so that they don’t overcook. Use them in pasta, even on pizza! And try to mix in what we’ve talked about earlier: foods rich in iron and vitamin E, like roasted nuts, seeds, and chicken liver, for instance. Make them a wonderful side dish next to a nice cut of salmon. Mix some fried bacon in there, even some new roasted potatoes. Cook them and add them on rice, with some meat or fish. The wok is your friend.
What goes great with a nice cappuccino, equal parts foamy milk or whipped cream and some excellent coffee? A cookie! Or a whole platter of cookies, if you ask us. So if you’re looking for a few cookie ideas to have with a special hot beverage, we have you covered.
You know how other people hate mornings? Well, I love them and sometimes I wish the day was all morning so that I could have so much coffee. My favorite is a good bean cappuccino, with perfectly rendered foam that just rises a bit from the rim of a cup. Yeah, I think about it in very poetic terms. So what could make a cappuccino even more perfect? Definitely, some cookies to dunk a little in it, that brink some crunch and buttery goodness to the whole experience.
Pecans are some of our favorite nuts, and there’s a big reason for that. They’re full of flavor and roasting them really helps enhance their nutty taste. We’ve tried them on top of some homemade cookies, along with some delicious buttercream. And the results were phenomenal. Try these any time!
Got a big Nutella jar that you want to put to good use? We urge you to try and spoil your loved ones with a delicious dessert like this! You only need a few ingredients for these Nutella and chocolate chip cookies and they’re very easy to make. And make as many as possible, because one batch will not last for long at the table.
These cookies are perfect to make when you plan of having coffee with a loved one. We firmly believe that you should treat yourself and also treat others to… treats. These particular cookies are topped with whipped cream and melted chocolate and basically melt in your mouth.
Remember those delicious cookies grandma used to make? Well, these ones might be just like them with an extra topping of raspberries. You can use fresh ones if they’re in season, but they’re just as good with frozen ones if you can’t find them at the farmer’s market. The walnuts bring some much-needed crunch to everything.
Your heart on a tiny plate next to your cappuccino? That does sound perfect. These heart-shaped cookies are healthy, too. We made them with whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and maple syrup. This means that you can have them even if you have a special diet. And the chocolate topping them is just the grace note!
Apple is one of those ingredients that makes baked goods so much better. But once you add caramel to them, the game changes completely and you’re left just having them till the plate is empty. Not to mention that the flavors spell out ‘perfect for the cold season’ in big, friendly letters.
With two types of chocolate and lots of crunch courtesy of the walnuts, these cookies are like a dream come true. With this recipe you can make them in your own kitchen, so you won’t have to buy them anymore. They’re ready in just over half an hour and they’re surely cheaper than store-bought ones.
If you’re a cookie maniac like us, just try this little trick. Add a touch of peanut butter into the dough when you’re making your favorite kind of cookies, and serve them with the jam you prefer. Try it and you’ll surely thank us later!
These coconut chocolate chip cookies are gluten-free and a perfect dish for a Paleo diet meal plan. You can make a large batch and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. That way, you’ll have an accessible breakfast or snack for every work day of the week!
Homemade butter cookies are a delight, that is why we recommend baking them as often as possible. You only need around a handful of ingredients to make them, so they’re quite cheap to make, and your kids will really enjoy them. Especially if you coat them with some colored sprinkles. That will surely catch the eye!